Microsoft VP Phil Harrison Unveils New Studio’s Cloud Focus



The gaming industry is changing, and with that change digital distribution has slowly grown into a significant way for gamers to purchase their favorite titles. With the push into digital content, Microsoft has decided to shift their focus into the wave of the future while maintaining support for retail.

Microsoft VP, Phil Harrison, recently unveiled the company’s new London studio which is appropriately named, “Lift London.” The studio serves to expand the cloud market by establishing entirely new IPs that Microsoft hopes will extend the success of cloud gaming with original content.  Harrison expanded on what Lift London means to the company:

“I wanted to create from scratch a 21st century studio. Not a studio that would make retail products. A studio that would make games for the cloud. Putting together the most incredible talent ever seen in a start-up. The shift is from packaged goods to connected products. We will continue to support retail with our products for sure. But we are going to keep creating features that are enhanced and improved by the network. Moving from being the maker of packaged products to the operator of connected services.”

Of course, Microsoft will continue to support physical retail, but Harrison revealed that the company acknowledges that new business models are required in order to succeed in the ever-changing world of gaming. Luckily, Microsoft has snatched numerous developers to run their new studio which include members of Rare, Soho Productions, and Lionhead Studios.

“The traditional retail games release model, massive up-front-design and development costs, will change and as we do know is change. We will still see the big blockbuster games. But for the larger, networked gamers, we need to think of new business models.”

With Microsoft plucking talent from Lionhead and Rare it seems to me that their cloud gaming market could begin focusing in on the casual gamer while their retail releases focus on the big blockbuster spectacle of titles like Halo.

What do you think of Lift London? Let us know in the comments below!